EA's snow riding series manages to stay on top of the game.
Another year, another SSX game. But while EAs snowboarding series needed something special to make the third sequel a worthwhile purchase for hardened fans, SSX On Tour manages to stay on top of its game. But only just.
The biggest change is purely cosmetic, the previous games dull menus and functional presentation replaced by a bold and aggressive art style that injects the tired franchise with new energy, the crude doodles and eccentric characters that introduce each challenge helping make On Tour feel edgy and fresh in a crowded genre.
The chance to ditch your snowboard and try skiing down the suicidal slopes is also a welcome addition even if the controls are virtually identical to the boarding sections and sacrificing SSX 3s expansive levels in favour of tighter, busier and more structured courses means this latest edition is more suited to quick bursts of frenzied action, rather that the tedious, overwrought races of its ambitious predecessor.
But with the SSX brand certain to slide onto the next generation consoles from Sony and Microsoft, EA needs to go back to the drawing board and rethink the franchise from the ground up, otherwise the inevitable fifth instalment is sure to disappoint fans whove stuck with the series since day one.